BENSON BAGS FIRST WISSOTA NATIONAL MIDWEST MODIFIED TITLE
Princeton, Minnesota’s Zach Benson capped his first ever 20-win season by being crowned the 2023 WISSOTA Midwest Modified National Champion! 32-year-old Benson, who has competed in the Midwest Modified division for eight seasons, starting in the division in 2016 and competing in the class ever since.
Benson’s season included twenty victories at nine different tracks during the 61 events he competed in and included accolades such as winning both nights of the Minnesota Modified Nationals at the Ogilvie Raceway in Ogilvie, MN, along with winning Mod Wars at Ogilvie, the Piston Cup at the Granite City Motor Park and winning the XR Superior Showcase at the Gondik Law Speedway in Superior, Wisconsin as well.
When asked what it means to be a WISSOTA National Champion Benson said ‘being a National Champion was always a dream on mine that I never thought would actually come true. We started out the season with little goals, we were just going to race and have fun, but come mid-summer, we realized we were in a very good spot in points and made the decision to go for it all, in the end, all the hard work and stress paid off and I couldn’t be happier.’
As mentioned, Zach and his team started out the season with no intentions of running for a national title, but after finishing outside of the top five just twice during his first twenty starts of the season, the team realized that they could make a run at the national title and went for it. Racing weekly at Gondik Law, Ogilvie and Granite City allowed Zach to have three very competitive tracks with good car counts on his weekly schedule and although he didn’t hit every event at Gondik Law or Ogilvie, he did race to the Midwest Modified Track Championship at Granite City for his efforts as well. Zach also was crowned as the Minnesota Midwest Modified State Champion for his efforts within his home state as well.
Zach said his most memorable moments of 2023 were going back-to-back at Ogilvie to win both nights of Mod Nationals weekend over Memorial Day weekend and winning during World of Outlaws night at Ogilvie and hearing the huge crowd cheering when he was in victory lane.
He also wanted to give a big shoutout to Factory 43 Motorsports and Chubbs Performance. He said ‘Nick and Doug at Factory 43 have been nothing short of amazing the last 2 seasons and Chubbs builds the best motors out there. He added a wheel dyno this year, and somehow made his motors even stronger and faster. I can 100% say without these two, we would not be where we are at today with our racing program.’
Benson’s #17b is sponsored by Factory 43 Motorsports, Chubb’s Performance, DK Designs, Anderson Brothers Garage, Shooters Sports Bar, NC Contracting, Rich Petrich Construction, Deglman Tile, Gander Crete, Prestar Trucking, Hanco Utilities, Central State Masonry, Twin Cities Auto Glass, Northland Crane Service, Frederick Fabrication and Racers X Performance Parts. He is supported on and off the track by his wife Jenna and kids Hadley and Addison. His main help in the pits consists of Cody Rob and Chum and he is also supported by family and friends consisting of Rob, Jodi, Matt, Brooke, Alisha, Justin, Amelia, Oaklyn, Becky, Brandy, Matt, Aubry, Owen, Linda, Dan, Nicole, Matt, Nikki, Cole, Gracie, Sam, Dylan, Mike and Jen.
At the conclusion of the 2023 season, Benson amassed 3309 points and was able to win the title by 74 markers over runner-up Lucas Rodin when the final points were tallied. 694 drivers entered at least one WISSOTA-sanctioned Midwest Modified event during the 2023 racing season.
As of today, Zach plans to compete in either the Midwest Modified or the Modified division when the 2024 season rolls around and although he never starts out the season with plans to run for points, if he ends up in a Modified full time, you can bet he will be in the hunt to contend for the 2024 WISSOTA Modified Rookie of the Year title as next season wraps up and if he sticks around in the Midwest Modified, a second straight national title run could be an option as well.
The WISSOTA Promoters Association exists to benefit its member tracks to enhance safe, profitable and successful dirt track racing, through unified, cost-effective rules, policies and procedures, enacted within a democratic environment.
The WISSOTA Promoters Association was founded in 1981 by eight track promoters in Wisconsin and Minnesota, with intent to offer uniform rules for the promoters and drivers involved in the Late Model division. Soon, the group decided to do the same for the growing Modified division.
In 1984 a voluntary steering committee was formed to oversee the business aspects that developed and to guide the future of WISSOTA’s racing divisions. That steering committee evolved into a board of directors, and the non-profit racing organization became incorporated in 1986.
Promoters who join the organization become, in essence, part owners of the racing organization and are expected to contribute to its overall success. Each November, the WISSOTA annual meeting is held; the member promoters gather annually in this forum to discuss the future of the organization. Member promoters are given the opportunity to vote on all organizational policies and procedures as well as rules for competition in the various racing divisions. WISSOTA’s member promoters and racing associations have spent approximately 30 years of hard work at the annual meetings crafting unique rules for each of the divisions, which are known as WISSOTA Late Models, WISSOTA Modifieds, WISSOTA Super Stocks, WISSOTA Street Stocks, WISSOTA Mod Fours, WISSOTA Pure Stocks and WISSOTA Hornets.
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Submitted By: Camryn Sullivan